BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

Mind the gap

on July 20, 2010

It has a way of becoming a chasm overnight. Meh.

Complete with gap monster. Pooh.

And guardians at the bridge. They don’t ask your favorite color; they just try to take it from you.

My pinky’s still swollen. Red now, though, not purple, which might be a good sign. Still hurts when there’s pressure on that part. Kept it buddy-taped all day, which made for some funny typing. Tried to buddy-tape it during class, but put the tape too high to keep that finger from bending at all, but it came off soon in to rolling with Justin. Oh, well. Toe is still banged up good, and everyone seems to like to kick it as they go.

I was on hold all day long. Yesterday, too. We’re testing the phone system we’ve built and all its routing, and that means lots of sitting on hold and counting how long the hold music plays. This is every bit as boring as it sounds. The bright side, as with yesterday, is that I can watch Mundials finals again. (Had lots of trouble with the stream today; kept getting “server not found” errors.) I love Shawn’s (?) commentating because he mentions all the little details that they’re doing. At one point, I only listened to Leticia Ribeiro’s fight while doing something else. The best thing about it all is that the spazzy Joe Rogan commentator in my head has been replaced by Shawn and Caleb. Much calmer and much more helpful.

However, the finals didn’t help me so much today.

Justin came in early today. Once he was loosened up, we rolled for about 30 minutes. Wait, crap, I was competent yesterday. Where’d it go? I want it back… Pooh. I tried rolling out as soon as I hit turtle. Stuffed. Back taken. Crap. Choked. Tried sitting under to half guard from turtle. Stuffed. Back taken. Crap. Choked. We got up against the cage at one point when he had my back (which seemed to be the entire round), and since he shamelessly exploits the walls to pin me in, I was trying to do the same. Instead, he slipped out to the side and flying squirreled around to the other side. At least twice. Not even able to block much worth anything. He even let me start in side control a few times and once on his back. And… nothing. I read an omoplata once and reacted before it happened, as he’s been teaching me… and then he read my reaction and did something else. Doh.

I did finally figure out why I’m not hitting a bow-and-arrow choke off the back — I’m going to the wrong side. So I’m coming up with my “choking” arm on top instead of behind their head, and looking at it and thinking, “What are you doing over here? This isn’t right!” My brain finally figured it out after that round, far too late to do any good.

Then Tim was there, and we went for another 30 minutes. He was playing with me yesterday; not so much today. Today was pressure. I’m still completely unable to move when someone has a heavy side control or knee-in-belly. I don’t know if I’m breathing wrong / not breathing, tensing / not tensing, just making it all up — I dunno. But heavy pressure, and I’m done. The same, “Oh, crap, bad idea,” mantra all night. Lots of verbal tapping because he’d have everything else tied up.

Afterwards, he pointed out that in standing to pass open guard, I’m taking little steps and staying within a small circle right in front of them. Showed me that I need to take bigger steps and commit. But then it was time for class, so he didn’t get to say much more.

When we roll like that before class, I feel tired sometimes, but I never realize how wiped out I am until I’ve had a moment to rest and then try to go back in. Completely out of energy at this point. It almost felt as if I hadn’t eaten enough, but I’d actually had a huge breakfast and a lunch-and-a-half (part of yesterday’s) and my pre-class protein shake. But I wanted to curl up in a corner and go to sleep.

With Sarah first to roll. She’s good at keeping her legs moving and in between, and I knew that and wanted to go straight in to working the stepping, so most of the round was me trying to pass. Trying to concentrate on stepping wider combined with a tired brain & body meant that my hips refused to play along and lagged up in the air while the rest of me tried to pass. Oi. Finally got them down, and then everything else was misbehaving. Oi! I tried to imagine that this was the finals of my upcoming tournament, but that didn’t do much for getting my brain and body working together. It did, though, have me playing tight and fighting for points. A few good passes and one good choke in there.

Then Tim put me with Yoshi. Aka, the Energizer Bunny. The boy has no “off” button! So again, tried to imagine that this was the tournament. Tired, so what? Gotta keep fighting. M’kay, will do it… We swept back and forth and fought for position for a little while, then he got hold of an arm and wanted to take it home. I spun out, he turned; I spun, he turned; I spun, he turned; I spu– oh, didn’t make it. Right up in to a triangle. Nice, man. Way to be persistent. Bit later, I caught a deep lapel grip as he tried to smash my butterfly guard. Other side was open, so gripped it. He didn’t seem to mind because of the butterfly. But then my legs cooperated for a moment to lift and switch to guard, and that deep cross collar choke was waiting. I heard him starting to wheeze, but he managed to slide a hand in as my grips started failing. After he postured up, he paused and wobbled around a moment. I asked if it had been tight. He said he nearly passed out. We swear the boy has gills; it’s hard to get a choke tight enough that he’ll tap. That was close, though.

Drilling was armbar from the back. Worked with Sarah and Jess. It’s weird working on full-sized partners again. I’m also so in the habit of doing a technique only a couple of times myself and then letting my partner do it the rest of the time, so it’s odd to do more.

One more roll. The guardian of the bridge, Condescending White Belt. Oh, joy. He gets me when I’m completely and thoroughly exhausted — not nearly enough resting during drilling — and he smells blood in the water. I could see it and feel it in every grip: “Time to tap a blue belt and get my own.” He nearly succeeded a few times, too. Would have, except for my two years (and continuing) of defense and his own imprecise technique. He was already tense and charging, but once he got near those submissions, man! the intensity cranked up even higher. Fabulous. And anytime he got close, I could see him watching Tim and Justin, who were sitting just a few feet away, to make sure they were paying attention. All I could do was defend, and that not very well.

He wrenched me into an approximate triangle once. Thank goodness for refreshers on triangle defenses the last two weeks. Then jerked into a near armbar. Stack. Back to triangle. Crap, that’s deep. Stay square, stay square. Finally wiggled back in. Back to armbar attempt. This one also involved throwing me sideways on my face so I couldn’t stack. He smelled blue and was cranking for all he was worth. Don’t ask me how, because it seemed to involve my shoulder dislocating and relocating and a good bit of magic, but I managed to walk around to the back and over his torso to get out and momentarily have side control before he flung me off. He actually said, “Nice!” in a completely believable and complimentary tone at that escape instead of the usual professor-encouraging-student tone.

Collapsed afterwards. I’d wanted to ask Justin to work with me on takedowns, but hardly had the energy to stand. Texted Adam when I got home that I wouldn’t make it in tomorrow morning. So tired.

I have this bad habit of having conversations in my mind only and never in real life because I “remember” saying it. Replying to other posts falls in this category; I compose a response in my head, but never write it out because, in my head, I already have. So I’m often surprised when I come back to a post a long time later and find that I did not, in fact, post a comment.

Anyway, I’d imagined a whole conversation in which I told Tim and Justin I was competing in August. Tim made a comment after class today about me going so hard on him (pfft!), and I responded that it was because of the tournament. “What tournament?” Oh… I haven’t actually told you about that yet… Right… Well, so now they know, and now they’ll actually train hard with me. … … I might preemptively cry. This is not going to be pleasant. Fun, possibly, but not terribly pleasant.


12 responses to “Mind the gap

  1. leslie says:

    @slidey: Lol, I was actually thinking of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (there’s a brief appearance by the Gap monster in the London Underground, which is why the lady says “Mind the Gap.”) But Stanley works, too 😛

  2. Kintanon says:

    It warms my soul to see other SciFi/Fantasy aficionados in the Jits.
    Props on continuing to work while you are exhausted, a lot of people bail and spend 1/3rd of the class sitting on the wall, you stuck it out and you’ll be better for it come tournament time.

  3. leslie says:

    @Kintanon: I dunno if I should get any credit — bailing isn’t an option in our class. If you can’t do it, often he’ll send you home. And I hate getting sent home.

  4. slideyfoot says:

    Ah, Neverwhere: I’ve never read it, but I do vaguely recall seeing a bit when it was on the TV. I very much like what I’ve read by Gaiman so far (mainly the obvious stuff, like those Sandman comics he did, Good Omens and checking out Stardust after watching the film).

    As I imagine you’re aware, ‘mind the gap’ is something they say over and over again on the London Underground: out of interest, is there something similar in the US, or is that just a reflection on the crappy trains here in the UK?

  5. leslie says:

    @slidey: I liked the book Neverwhere better than the BBC series, and I liked the Stardust movie better than the book. Oh, well.

    Uh, I haven’t ridden in enough subways to really remember what they say over here. Probably something obvious like “Doors closing. Please stand clear.” (For fun, mental_floss article on famous disembodied voices, including her.)

  6. slideyfoot says:

    The Stardust film was hands-down better than the book: for once, the changes they made for the film version made it much better than the original (Pfeiffer was especially good: the original version of her character was crap in comparison).

  7. reginadabean says:

    In New Jersey on some of our boardwalks along the shore there are these..well we call them tram cars…they’re like little trolleys that go up and down the boardwalk and have a nasally, automated, and very annoying recorded message “Watch the tram car please, watch the tram car”

    Yay! to the sci-fi/fantasy fans…cause people who aren’t just DON’T understand 🙂

    AND, I have a random question that is unrelated to this post, but since I’m posting I’m going to ask–after reviewing my diet with my Sensei, she has proclaimed me protein deficient–well maybe not that bad but she wants me to add some more protein into my diet–any suggestions?

  8. leslie says:

    @slidey: I agree. They also changed the overall tone — the movie was dark comedy, heavy on the comedy. The book was heavy on the dark.

    And Captain Shakespeare!

    @reginadabean: If you’re already eating relatively healthfully, you can try a protein shake between meals. If you weigh your food, add an extra ounce of protein (chicken, beef, fish, tofu) — or just take a larger portion. Dairy has some protein, too, though not usually much. Any time you eat, make sure you’re getting some protein.

  9. Sup Yoon says:

    Hi, this is my first time commenting on your blog, but I think you’re awesome! My team always talks about “the gap” and how we’ll never get to where our instructor is or where any of the old timers are…they just have a wealth of experience that is compounded by their consistency multiplied by time. Did that make sense? lol probably not…But I always feel like We (as in the normies who are still learning to crawl) would need to create a room where time and experience are accelerated during training without the damage caused by aging. And then…just then…we might be able to close the gap. But probably not. =)

  10. leslie says:

    @Sup: Thanks!

    Yeah, the gap between what they know and what I know is immense.

    G = E^ct


    I’m not even worrying about closing that gap right now. Far too big. The gap I’m working on right now is the gap between my own neurons — if I could only intelligently do 1/4 of what I know, I think I’d be in decent shape.

  11. BJJ Judo says:

    I’m still completely unable to move when someone has a heavy side control or knee-in-belly.

    Try concentrating on getting off the flat of your back before trying to move for the escape the pressure. I know “master of the obvious” and I know it is easier said then done, but even a tiny tiny hip turn to the side can make a big difference and releive a lot of pressure on your lungs.

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